Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
There are over 190 articles on diet, inflammation and disease on this blog
(find topics using search [upper left] or index [lower right]), and
more articles by Prof. Ayers on Suite101 .

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cure for Middle-Aged Middle

My First Two Weeks with the Drs. Eades Diet

The Drs. Eades (Mary Dan and Michael) see eye to eye with me on the health benefits of a low carb diet for avoiding chronic inflammation, the foundation of most degenerative and autoimmune diseases and cancers.  Recently they applied their clinical experience with the diets they developed to combat obesity to produce a book that focused on the protruding gut:  The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle:  The Simple Plan to Flatten Your Belly Fast!  That book seemed to be a great way to introduce most people to a healthy diet based on obtaining calories from fat rather than carbs, so I featured it as the recommended book on my blog for the last several months.  Two weeks ago my wife and I decided to practice what I preach and started The Cure.

The Cure Reduces Visceral Abdominal Fat

"The Cure” consists of three, 2-week blocks, that adapt the body metabolism to a new low carb, higher fat diet.  The focus is to reduce visceral fat stored primarily in the abdomen.  Equally important, from my perspective, are the changes that take place in the gut flora -- The Cure changes the composition of the gut flora to facilitate change in body fat and to restore complete function to the immune system.

Basic Outline of The Cure

The first two weeks of The Cure consist of three protein shakes (low carb flavored whey plus cream) and a very low carb meal each day.  Weeks 3 and 4 are no-carb, dairy-free meals of meat/fish/eggs with calories from fat and protein only.  The final two weeks are the new low carb, higher fat diet.  Research on diet and gut flora would predict that the bacterial species in the gut stay basically the same and provide a recognizable individuality, but the relative quantity of each species in the gut changes to maintain body fat.  The efficiency of the total gut flora would increase, if the diet resulted in weight loss and become less efficient, if there was increased fat deposition.

After the First Two Weeks of Protein Shakes

A diet of protein shakes changed my view of food.  I was simply not hungry and cravings disappeared.  My wife was shocked that she felt satisfied after drinking a shake and did not panic without snacks or seconds.  It was relatively easy to eliminate most of the bad eating habits associated with weight gain.  There was no problem about portion sizes or eating outside of meals.  All of the bad habits became noticeable and I could see when I normally reached for some food out of boredom.  There was simply no physiological support for snacking.  Hydration is important and bowel movements were irregular as gut flora adapted to the severe change in diet.  [Also note that the milk whey protein used in the shakes is high in lactoferrin, a protein found useful in controlling bacterial pathogens, e.g. Clostridium dificil, and intestinal candidiasis.]

Weight Loss Was Effortless

It was easy to drop some weight on the protein shakes.  My wife (15 lbs) and I (5 lbs) both lost weight easily.  This is significant, since neither of us was able to reduce our weights in the last several years.  My weight at the start was 20 lbs over what I weighed as a high school gymnast.  I didn’t feel like I had a lot of energy in the first two weeks of The Cure, so I slacked off on walking and weight training.  Now that I am into the luxurious second phase with lots of meat, gaining strength by exercising is a pleasure.

Reduced Need for Fish Oil with Altered Gut Flora

Something that I need to highlight and that I attribute to the change in my gut flora, is a lowered need for fish oil.  I was taking four fish oil capsules per day, to eliminate minor aches in my fingers.  After the first two weeks of The Cure, without vitamin D supplements or fish oil, I still don’t have any finger aches. My wife, also no longer needs fish oil to make our 3-mile hikes along Indian Creek painless for her knees. The Cure seems to have uncovered a remaining source of inflammation in my previous diet.    The most likely inflammatory candidate was the small amounts of grain and starch still in my old diet.  It will be very easy for me to transition to a new anti-inflammatory diet more consistent with the one I have been advocating on this blog.  I think that the anti-inflammatory diet would be a simple, healthy and enjoyable way to avoid most diseases or as an essential part in the treatment of most degenerative and autoimmune diseases and cancers.

My thanks go to the Drs. Eades for creating a smart diet sequence that alters gut flora for loss of visceral abdominal fat and provides a transition to a healthy low carb, increased fat diet.  The diet sequence may also be useful in restoring gut flora destroyed by antibiotic use or dysbiosis indicated by constipation.

71 comments: said...

Much of what you said sounds very familiar to me. Excessive protein causes me to get constipated. Grains, even in small quantities, make me ill.

I guess I need to subsist on a butter-only diet.

Just kidding. But I do eat a lot of butter.

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Anonymous said...

I noticed that you consumed quite a lot of dairy, is it possible that the remaining source of inflammation in your diet was the dairy intake? From my own experiments, dairy seems to aggrevate acne, wheter its raw milk or butter. So maybe its related to other problems as well.


Dr. Art Ayers said...

I don't understand problems eating dairy. Maybe someone can explain to me what components are a problem. I am not talking about allergies, since those are somewhat obvious. I just don't know what else could be problematic.

The Eades Cure diet starts with whey powder. That is about as dairy as one can get and my symptoms were easiest to control with that diet. That's why I lean toward gluten and starch, because I never competely eliminated them, until this new diet.

Maybe people have problems with dairy because of the prebiotic components? It seems to be some interaction with gut flora, because it is slow.

Thanks for your comments.

thania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

There are a lot of hormones in milk, from different origins, both water and fat-soluble ( If the link doesnt work, its a study called "Hormones in bovine milk and milk products: A survey", its an overview of the known bio-active molecules in bovine milk. Whey protein doesn't contain the fat soluble hormones, nor does it contain the casein fraction, which can form casomorphine peptides in the digestion process.
Research papers about dairy are all a bit fuzzy, but from my own experimentation i've learned that i better dont eat dairy (acne-related: if it gives me acne, it might as well cause other unseen problems). Another recent study was this one:, "milk: the promotor of chronic western diseases", which is not particulary enlightening, but nevertheless interesting. Then there are also meta-analyses linking dairy intake with prostate cancer and there are meta-analyses showing there is no link.
Dr Loren Cordain also recommends eliminating dairy because of several reasons.
Maybe there is something about dairy...

Dr. Art Ayers said...

What I am trying to do with my blog is to provide a biochemical and molecular basis for common diseases. Most diseases trace back to the cellular biology of inflammation, which is in turn controlled by the molecular communication between bacteria and the cells lining the gut. In this article on the Eades Cure, I was pointing out how this diet alters metabolism by changing the gut flora.

I was not trying to just lose a few pounds, because I do that effectively just by cutting out meals, reducing portions, eliminating wine/beer or chocolate and increasing my weight training, karate training or gymnastics. I can just adjust my weight as I want, but most people don't look at it that way, so I was trying to be more practical. Most people suffer from cultivating the wrong gut flora and changing that, changes their weight problem as well as their overall health.

I picked a popular weight loss program that was consistent with some actual biochemistry and highlighted some real health problems. I was trying to explain why it actually works. The liver detox angle is a little sketchy, but fatty liver is a common problem that is addressed by this diet.

The protein shakes need not be as synthetic as you characterize them. The point is to starve some of the gut flora for carbs. That eliminates carb sweeteners. Stevia, a sweet protein, is the best choice. I am all for natural foods, but there are few foods that provide just protein. That is why the proteins shakes are made from fractionated natural foods such as milk or eggs. The whey fraction of milk is just cheap (for a purified protein source) and well balanced in amino acids. It also provides lactoferrin, which has been shown to control troublesome bacteria, such as Clostridium.

I am trying to develop science-based practices that make sense to support health and avoid/treat diseases. Part of that is addressing why people become obese or have difficulty controlling weight.
Few weight control programs make sense or work, since they are designed to make people continue to use the program.

Thanks for your comments

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Milk is funny stuff, since it is adapted to an extraordinary degree to protect and support newborns. It is very powerful and apparently problematic for adults. I don't buy the hormone aspects as being significant. Gut and gut flora modifications are probably the issue, but that is poorly understood. Caseins and fat droplet manipulation are probably important sources of problems, and that may be how homogenization and pasteurization may lead to unhealthy modifications of milk.

It may all boil down to the species specificity of milks and the need to cultivate different gut flora for the newborns. The prebiotic impact of cow's milk may promote gut flora that are inflammatory in humans. Cow's milk components in formula dramatically alter gut flora produce inflammation in babies. It only takes a single bottle of formula to permanently alter gut flora into adulthood.

Thanks for the input.

JBG said...

From the original post:
"It was easy to drop some weight on the protein shakes. My wife (15 lbs) and I (5 lbs) both lost weight easily. This is significant, since neither of us was able to reduce our weights in the last several years."

From Comment #6 by the same author:
"I was not trying to just lose a few pounds, because I do that effectively just by cutting out meals, reducing portions, eliminating wine/beer or chocolate and increasing my weight training, karate training or gymnastics. I can just adjust my weight as I want..."

Which is it?

Reading through the reviews of the book at Amazon, many of them are quite critical, calling the book sloppily crafted, inconsistent with the Eades' previous work, hard to follow, and not effective. Surprise and disappointment are common themes.

It all makes me, a relatively new reader here, uncertain about whether to continue.

zak said...

I have been on a high fat, low carb, no fructose or wheat diet for 7 weeks. Have lost fat, and sinus inflammation that I commonly get has disappeared.

The problem is my digestion. I seem to be oscillating between diarrhea and constipation, with a lot of stomach rumbling between that. You would think 7 weeks would be enough time to adjust. I really enjoy eating like this. I feel better and enjoy eating lots of juicy steaks and butter.

zach said...

It's interesting that you mentioned milk. I noticed that visceral fat reduced when I started drinking whole-raw-pastured cow milk. I thought it would make me fatter with all the carbs, but I searched online and many people reported getting leaner. I wonder if it has something to do with the bacteria or enzymes that are in uncooked milk?

Also, unprocessed milk tastes better. Has a different texture too. Many people say the same, but I'm not sure why this would be.

Tanya said...

Regarding whole milk...I heard a blip on TV the other night that whole milk contains the good Omega fats...haven't had time to look for the info but thought I'd tease you with it here. My parents (60s) still drink 3 glasses whole milk a day and are healthier than I am...

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I carry around an extra ten pounds and it is easier for me to lose weight by calorie restriction than most of my friends. It is just inconvenient. So that means that I am at my body's current set point. Gaining or losing takes a little concentrated effort and was not a priority.

My current understanding is that set points reflect, in part, the current composition of gut flora. I wanted to use the Eades Diet to change my gut flora and my set point and make weight loss simple. It was just an experiment for me. For my wife, the intent was serious weight loss. That's the point of both posts.

The Amazon reviews to me say that some people expect the new book to be for the same audience as the Aedes previous books. The 6-Week Cure seems to be for a different audience -- those who want to lose 10 or 20 lbs of visceral fat, but aren't as interested in the underlying physiology. It is a prescriptive book with basically all that is needed for the 6-week diet. Continuing with a low carb/higher fat diet should keep the weight off. Reviewers in the expected audience were pleased and lost weight. Those who expected something different were not pleased. Those who failed to see the role of carbs in the transition and ate protein shakes with high carb whey, had problems. Those who ignored the portion control or carbs later also had problems.

The book did what I expected and it works for my uses. That is why I recommend it.

Thanks for your comments.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Diarrhea and constipation typically suggest dehydration to me. Are you drinking enough water with your new diet as you continue to lose weight?

Thanks for your comments on your experience.

thania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Art Ayers said...

I don't see the point of your comments. I am trying to offer an explanation for why diet changes work. Of course I have not done the research, I am at home trying to explain why the diets work. The simple experiments that your suggest would tell nothing and proper molecular experiments to monitor changes in the gut communities would take at least dozens of participants and at least hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you don't want to understand the biology of the diets, why are you at this blog? You are not providing any new insights and are just arguing for natural foods and you provide no new insight as to why you think they might work.

I have seen the protein shakes in the book and have prepared them from five different types of whey. They are easy and natural, just made from milk proteins, cream and the amino acid leucine. If this approach doesn't appeal to you, then why bother to comment, just move on and use what you like.

You are not being tricked into using any diet. That is not what my blog is about. There are 150 other articles and this is the only article that mentions the specifics of a diet.

You comments are not appreciated, because they are simply strident and attempting to push your narrow perspective.

taipilsons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Good riddance to Thania. When I read the first comment I thought gee how rude.
I think the Eades programme is very good.

Unknown said...

@Zak and @Dr. Ayers re. digestion, diarrhea, constipation, dehydration, water consumption, and fiber consumption...

A resource that you might find interesting and/or helpful in these areas is Konstantin Monastyrsky's website ( and/or book, 'Fiber Menace'. I'm an avid reader of bright lights such as Dr. Ayers, Dr.'s Eades, Art DeVany, WAPF, Mark Sisson, Stephan Guyenet, Chris Masterjohn, etc., who a few months ago switched abruptly to an eating plan similar to that recommended here by Dr. Ayers as being anti-inflammatory. The information provided by Mr. Monastyrsky ended up being useful for me. As a layperson I can't make claims to its veracity.

Dr. Ayers, it's only been a few weeks since I discovered your blog, but it's already one of my favourites. Thanks for the work that you do. And I'll take this opportunity to throw in a vote for more posts re. the eradication of troublesome bacteria and biofilms; my girlfriend has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, but despite many months on antibiotics, she still suffers from rheumatoid-like symptoms, among others.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Erythritol is a good alternative to xylitol. Xylitol passes into the large intestines and is metabolized there. It can cause problems of gas and a laxative effect if eaten in sufficient quantities, i.e. it modifies your lower intestinal gut flora. Erythritol is absorbed in the small intestines and then lost in the urine, so it has minimal impact, but is sweet. That seems like a good choice for protein shakes.

The Eades Cure diet shakes for the first two weeks are just a couple scoops of low carb whey powder, a good dollop of cream, half a cup of water, ice cubes and about a teaspoon of leucine. The leucine is an amino acid that blocks use of your muscle protein during the low carb, first four weeks of the diet.

The second two week of The Cure is just no carbs and no dairy, i.e. a reasonable amount of meats/fish/eggs and low carb veggies for three meals a day. I will write about these weeks, when I finish them.

Thanks for your comments.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thanks for your reference to Mr. Monastyrsky on regulation of constipation. I think he is correct as far as I can tell. It is directed toward his products for sale, so a certain amount of bias against other alternative may be suspected. My take away message is that bowel movements are mostly bacteria and what you eat and your past history, determine the composition of bacteria in your stool and hence explain constipation/diarrhea.

Thus, bowel movements are an extension of the gut flora/biofilms that I have been discussing.

I have been trying to come up with approaches to regulation of gut flora and biofilms, but there are problems. First is the lack of information. Second is the potential power of modifications. And third is the susceptibility of people with dysfunctional GI tracts to further damage by rapid alterations of gut flora. We already know that gut flora can be very inflammatory and that is exacerbated by any disruption of the gut flora. Thus, a quick fix for the gut flora could initially be highly inflammatory and exacerbate existing symptoms.

This means that manipulation of gut flora should be a medical specialty requiring training, expertise and support from the rest of medicine. That is reasonable, because of the dominant role of gut flora and biofilms in disease and health. Unfortunately, diet is the major regulator of gut flora and there is no money in diet compared to drugs. The good news is that the study of the gut flora is getting increasing attention by molecular biology and that may force changes as the opportunity for marketing analysis of gut flora becomes a reality. Imagine a dip stick that can be read by an iPhone attachment to make dietary recommendations to reduce inflammation -- "I noticed that you slipped in some grain on Thursday."

Thanks for your comments.

Unknown said...

Thanks for replying to my comment Dr. Ayers.

Re. Konstantin Monastyrsky and product sales: FWIW, I've read bucketloads of his stuff, and the emphasis on his products and the sales thereof seems to be extremely small. I get the feeling this is one of those cases where a passion for helping preceded the development and sale of a product that would facilitate said helping. As always, I could be wrong.

Re. Take away message from his writings: In addition to the "bowel movements are mostly bacteria" aspect, I think it's worth adding here that, in line with writings about SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), and, for example, a recent post by Stephan Guyenet at his Whole Health Source blog, Mr. Monastyrsky also focusses on the state of the digestive/gut tissues (i.e. damage, diverticuli, leaky gut/excess gut lining permeability, etc.) I'm relatively new to looking at gut flora and gut permeability as being huge contributors to health (or lack thereof), and relatively new to looking at how particular foods and nutrients can affect both flora and permeability. Fascinating stuff, and I'm grateful to have your writings as an additional resource.

Re. Gut flora, biofilms, inflammation, and modification: Again, grateful to people like yourself who explore beyond the boundaries of currently accepted beliefs and practices, and who make their writings available for the edification of people, like myself, who have no specific expertise in such matters. The dipstick/iphone app is a dynamite idea. In the meantime, please do keep postulating on ways to at least attempt to decrease/eradicate unwelcome bacteria and biofilms, as some of us are willing to self-experiment and, hopefully, report back.

Thanks again. Sam.

Mavis said...

One bottle of formula permanently alters gut flora?

How is one to change it? My kids had some formula, I had all formula.

Do you have any suggestions?

taipilsons said...

Thanks for your reply. I'm definitely going to give this a try. Some whey protein, erythritol, and cream sounds not too bad.

I'm curious: Why add the teaspoon of leucine if you are using whey? I don't have this any leucine right now, but my whey protein powder (Jarrow Formulas, Whey Protein, Unflavored) has Leucine (BCAA) 1.82 g per 23 gram serving. Maybe if people are using egg white protein it might be necessary?

Cream seems to have a small ammount of carbs, but it seems like a trivial ammount?

The only problem I forsee is that my whey protein only has 94 calories per serving, plus the erythritol has little to no calories. You said you weren't that hungry during the first two weeks? Did you have any headaches? Where you able to concentrate and have enough energy to get work done? I don't have much visceral fat at all, I'm quite lean right now and don't really want to lose weight, just deal with inflamation (Rosacea, etc..)

Wondering if I could add some ground flax seeds and high quality fish oil (EPA/DHA) to the protein shakes for calories and maybe some probiotic powder for healthy bacteria. Although I'm a bit concerned about megadoses of photoestrogens (flax lignans) If i'm eating 3 shakes a day for 2 weeks.

Not seeking medical advice as much as personal experience or insights from you or others. I'm still trying to find a good doctor here who has a more open mind and holistic approach.

Thanks Again,


Dr. Art Ayers said...

If your kids make it through infancy, then the goal will be to shift their gut flora in a healthy direction as soon as possible with a common sense anti-inflammatory diet. That's just what I advise in this blog. It just avoids the unhealthy advise (unsupported by the actual experiments in the biomedical literature) by much of the medical community and the food industry.

That should be all that is needed, unless they already have allergies and autoimmune diseases, then more care is needed, but the gut is still the focus for most illnesses.

I have 150 articles on this blog explaining how diet, inflammation and diseases are inter-related. It all explains how an anti-inflammatory diet is the foundation of health and should be the first step in the treatment of most diseases.

Thanks for your comments. If you have specific questions, please ask.

Anonymous said...

I agree with signupsammy, I don't get the impression that Monastyrsky of Fiber Menace is in it to sell his products. He doesn't even seem all that interesting in selling his books, all of the information is available on the website if you look around enough. And he also gives suggestions on how to come up with your own versions of his products so you can spend a lot less money. I just used the ingredient listings on his products to buy what I needed from discount online sites. It was very cheap and effective.

He is definitely passionate about the subject. I even emailed him for advice on helping a friend and he replied immediately.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I have been just trying to give an outline of the diet and leave the rest to the book.

The first two weeks are three protein shakes plus one low carb meal. The shakes can also have an added egg if desired. The goal is to provide minimum calories for weight loss. Your goal is just to change the gut flora. The important point there seems to be to starve the flora of carbs. The protein and fat are not as important, but it means to get a lot of the calories from the cream and meal fat.

It seems that the leucine is added because metabolizing muscle protein is triggered by inadequate access to free leucine. Adding extra leucine above the whey, protects the muscle protein. As you indicate, in your case it may be substituted for another source of protein. I don't know.

I wouldn't bother with the flax, but the fish oil may be a good way to silence bowel inflammation during the gut flora disruption of the diet.
Probiotics, perhaps even full fat live yogurt with low carbs might be considered.

Most people with rosacea are vitD deficient. I hope you have addressed this already.

Good luck. Let me know how it works out.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I agree that he seems to be very passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable. He gave me some new insights.

I looked twice to find suggestions on his site for foods that should end constipation, i.e. mimic his products, but I couldn't find them. Can you give me an idea of what the ingredients are?

Thanks for your comments.

Tanya said...

Your comment about possible side effects and altering gut flora along with the mention of the gal with Lyme disease makes me wonder...perhaps the antibiotics I took for Lyme are what set off the inflammation in my neck/shoulders this summer...and perhaps the additional antibiotics for my tooth recently are making it linger. Must get back to my anti-inflam diet soon.

Oh..and it appears I may have a small hole in my heart that caused the clot/stroke. Waiting more results and treatment plan.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Antibiotics and gut flora changes are at the center of chronic inflammation. The major Lyme bacterium is a nasty spirochete with many alternative forms and is hard to treat with antibiotics. Ticks also contribute lots of other bacteria. The intracellular forms can reside in the immune system cells that migrate to other sites of inflammation in the body. These are hard to treat and frequently result in complex dieoff inflammation.

I hope that you got rid of these problems and return to health.

David said...

I totally agree with the above comments regarding Lyme/antibiotics/inflammation. I had Lyme for years and was treated by a longterm antibiotic protocol. It worked well for me, but I've seen many others continue suffering for many years without relief (and in many cases, worsening symptoms).

My mom was one of these unfortunate cases. She actually got worse from Lyme treatment and didn't actually start improving until we started attempting to address things from a biofilm angle. EDTA, enzymes, antimmicrobial herbs, chlorella, etc. This was the first thing in years that actually began to offer her relief.

The most forward thinking Lyme doctors (e.g. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD) seem to be aware now of the biofilm issue, and address it before anything else. The results are often amazing. It's like the "missing link" in chronic illness.


Unknown said...

@David - Would you mind if my girlfriend or myself contacted you directly (through your profile info) re. your Lyme strategies?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

You might also contact Marjorie at:

She keeps up to date on all things Lyme.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers,
Here is how I found the information:

This page, Constipation Unplugged has his six-step program (scroll to the bottom). There he references his Colorectal Recovery Program which lists all his supplements. On that page are the instructions on how to take the supplements. In the "how to" section are the links to the individual supplements (click on "more") where you will find the ingredients.

For the Vitamin C product, I substituted Hypo-Aller C from Nutribiotic(that site has it in a variety of sizes, up to five pounds). For the GI Recovery product I used NOW glutamine (he says somewhere on the site that for those on a budget, the glutamine by itself is sufficient, without the other three ingredients). As a substitue for the Daily Packs, I already have a good multivitamin and make my own raw goat's milk kefir (for the probiotics).

David said...


Lyme is a complex topic, and not something I could probably go into any kind of extensive, personal detail with, but you or your girlfriend are certainly welcome to contact me.

I recommend checking out Scott is a great resource and keeps up with advances in Lyme strategies. Also, check out the book "Healing Lyme" by Buhner, and "The Lyme Disease Solution" by Singleton. These books offer great insights and options.

Finally, read everything you can by Dietrich Klinghardt ( Many of his articles, protocols, etc are available online. He's at the front lines with Lyme, and is a true genius in many ways.

Good luck.

Unknown said...

@Dr. Ayers and @David - Thanks to you both for the recommended resources. We'll look into them.

Tanya said...

I did the antibiotics in april...the troubles showed up in august so am not really sure they are related for me. I am not convinced I had/have Lyme...they don't do the follow up test and I don't have symptoms that fit, no bites, etc. I still think I have arteritis but no idea why when I was all anti-inflammatory diet, and even went to no gluten and no tomatoes and got nowhere.

Have been eating more 'junk' than my new 'usual' since my stroke (I am not doing the cooking etc) and feel no worse but no better...wondering if low T3 is involved somehow? Was recommended by a chiro after stroke to take iodine, niacinimide and thytrophin pmg because that is what he suspected. I however have not taken any supplements since the stroke, except some Vit C for my tooth. My husband is concerned that we leave them out in case something I took/combined caused the trouble...and I did start a couple new things right before but also had a horrible dental visit right before the stroke too!

Not sure what to do...

Dr. Art Ayers said...

The dental work prior to the stroke is bothersome. I would fear that as the source of bacterial release into your blood stream with ominous consequences.

It sounds very complex and needs good medical support. It also seems that the dental inflammation overwhelmed the anti-inflammatory diet. Antibiotics probably disrupted the gut flora and it is hard to tell if it recovered. I hope that the anti-inflammatory diet guidelines help to support your health.

Sorry, that I can't be more helpful.

jamie said...

This isn't related to the post persay, but more to the comments RE: Lyme. I successfully treated chronic Lyme using the Buhner protocol and a diet very similar to Eades cure. Lyme is horrible and it is something that I think still resides in me. However, I feel better than I did before I got ill (which is the point, I think...), IF I continue on the anti-inflammatory diet. Starches, especially gluten, and too much dairy bring back old, not fun symptoms of the Lyme.

David said...


Yes, the Buhner protocol is excellent. My wife (before we were married) turned around her Lyme with the Buhner protocol. Prior to it, she was sleeping almost all day long and could barely even walk on some days. One year on the Buhner herbs and she almost completely recovered.

When I had Lyme, I found that a low-carb diet worked wonders for me, as well. I just felt so much better eating that way. At the time, I followed a diet my doctor put me on that's outlined in this book:

Low-carb, but geared towards the chronically ill crowd.


Dr. Art Ayers said...

Jamie and David,
Thanks for your comments about Lyme.

Lyme is a very complex group of diseases that is poorly treated by the medical establishment. I guess we can expect disease treatment to be increasingly controversial, as the inadequacy of drug-dominated treatment becomes increasingly obvious.

The spirochete that is the predominant bacterial infection in Lyme is a relative of the syphilis pathogen that has numerous developmental stages, complex physical and mental manifestations, and a notorious history. The chronic forms of Lyme are more difficult to treat.

The Lyme pathogens are refractory to antibiotics and current protocols involve long term antibiotic treatment. This exposure to antibiotics or other treatments that involve phytochemicals found in plant extracts, have potentially major impact on gut flora.

Gut flora are needed for proper function of the immune system. Since the immune system is responsible for the symptoms of some diseases, symptoms can sometimes be subdued by elimination of parts of the immune system. Thus, antibiotics/phytochemicals that may be essential to the treatment of some diseases may also reduce symptoms by compromising the immune system.

The point I want to make here, is that the use of antibiotics and herbs to treat Lyme (and other chronic) disease, needs to also be supported by analysis and treatment of gut flora to make sure that the immune system is returned to healthful function.

Thanks for your comments.

Tanya said...

I have completed week 1 of the diet. I have not taken aspirin since day two (splitting headache...perhaps did not wean off caffeine well enough!) and feel as well if not a bit better than I did while taking it. It was about a week after I quit last time that my aches returned, so this will be the test week.

My husband barely lasted 4 days. He got worse and worse pain etc. and so he quit the diet. He says he feels best when he eats oatmeal for breakfast and three other small meals. I am still going to keep working on him to ditch grains and soda pop etc. I also ordered the Protexid recommended by Eades for GERD. I am having him take melatonin in the meantime (he will only take 3 g not the 6 in the protexid/study).

My stools are becoming more and more loose, but still only two or three a day. I did not experience the usual dizziness with my menses this week either, so I think this is a good path to be on. I am not sure if it is the low carb (which I was doing before) or the whey protein and leucine and other supplements I hadn't tried that are helping. We'll see as the diet plan progresses.

Thanks for recommending the diet Dr Ayers.

Tanya said...

I posted too soon...this a.m. I had a really bad spell that felt like before my stroke hit. I spent the AM in the ER and the afternoon getting an MRI. All test normal. Scolded for not taking my aspirin, and tested again for Lyme, TSH & T4 and for neuromylenating optica. REferral pending to rheumatologist...feel like a failure...I know that's silly but...won't be finishing the diet.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I have been following your posts with anticipation. You have a very complex situation and you are bravely attacking on several fronts. I think that you have made amazing progress and now you have another setback.

It is very hard to see what is happening, but clearly your gut and gut flora are involved in the multiple layers of symptoms.

Keep me posted as you figure out your current situation.

Tanya said...

Lyme disease this time was negative. TSH and T4 were 'normal'. Waiting on the NMO test. Still not as good as I was before the spell...trying to be patient...Progesterone has got to be a clue...timing is just too much to ignore. Prog regulates thymus which regulates Tregs, I've what is using up the Tregs that is throwing Prog out of balance...just some random thoughts..

Anna said...

Tanya said, TSH and T4 were 'normal'.

Did you get an actual number value from the doc or just "normal"?

Always ask for a copy of your lab results for your own file when you have tests performed OR if you want older results, submit an authorization for release of medical records (there may be a small charge for copying past lab test results - my HMO charges 25 cents a page). These are your records and you are entitled to keep a personal file.

I trusted my doctor's assurances that my thyroid results were "normal" for more than 10 years despite repeated testing due to infertility and increasing hypothyroid symptoms. I finally fired her and changed doctors; turns out my thyroid function wasn't normal at all, and my free T4 and T3 were quite low despite gradually increasing "normal" TSH results in the upper ref range (a narrowed range with a reduced upper limit has been recommended since 2002, but many labs haven't done this). If your TSH is near 2.5 or above, you could still be have low thyroid function. Be sure your Free T4 and Free T3 (NOT total T4 & T3) are checked as well as the thyroid antibodies.

Tanya said...

Great minds...they called and told me 'normal' but I havent' had a chance to call and get a copy. A friend was just put on thyroid meds because her TSH was high normal and had been for a series of doctor makes for new help. I don't have a lot of nearby options and not in the mood to chase doctors right now. Appreciate the info though. Thanks!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I think that Anna is right in getting the actual test results. I am not much use when it comes to hormone dysfunction, because I have to get to the root cause for the metabolic disruption that ultimately leads to the hormone problem. The hormones are never the first step, but are another symptom of underlying disease. In some cases it is difficult to ferret out the initial causes, because they may have been remedied, but still leave a residual problem. An example is autoimmune disease based on preceding inflammation and gut-based disruption of Tregs.

I think that it is informative that you took a nose dive after starting the new diet. That diet disrupted your existing gut flora and triggered your symptoms. Your husband also has gut flora issues, so a major source of gut bacteria for you would be from a compromised source. In any case, both of you have suffered from related diets. I consider your response to the whey shakes to be paradoxical and consistent with intestinal yeast. This makes sense with your prior antibiotics. Your husband's response to the diet is also paradoxical and consistent with yeast. Yeast also likes oatmeal, i.e. lots of starch and causes problems on low carb.

What do you think?

Tanya said...

I have looked into the fungus issue prior to looking into anti inflammatory diet etc. The recommendations are the same, so the low carb diet should help with the yeast as well. I did find a site that discusses probiotics (specific ones) and other things to control it. They also discuss how yeast can interfere with hormones etc. recommends supplements that you and the other site do not. So sorting that out.

The dizziness started with the stroke, and then eventually has subsided except for right around my period. I guess I don't know if things are new symptoms of same problem or diff. problems.

I also recall one of the first posts I read that you said your friend fought his inflammation with diet but it took physical therapy to finally kick it. I know the one thing I don't do that most recommend is excercise, and I need to start slow and get stronger.

I had thought about connections between his symptoms and mine as well, as I read somewhere the speculation that Lyme can be transferred to your spouse by intimate contact. So yeast would be in the same arena as that theory.

My TSH was .79 (last time was 1.72) and free t4 was 1.5. high range normal is 1.7 for t4 and low range normal tsh is .27. The weird thing is, the lyme test was for two antibodies and the IGG was <80 and the IGM was 1.89. Based on the info on the results, the igg is neg and the igm is positive. So now I am really confused. Need to look into it more.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

My experience with applied immunology tells me that the first response to an antigen is with IgM and that slowly converts to IgG. I don't know what the accepted limits for diagnosis are for Lyme.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers,

In my study of surface tension in liquids, there is talk of the behaviour of individual atoms or molecules being in a lower state of energy when a greater number of neighbours surrounds the central atom/molecule. Contrast this with molecules on the surface, where the atom/molecules have fewer neighbours and a higher energy. It is explained that this higher energy is a reason for surface tension, in that atoms/molecules have a tendency towards the bulk/interior, where there is lower energy. The fluid minimizes its energy state by minimizing the number of atoms in the high energy state.

What is the nature of an atom/molecule having a lower state of energy with more neighbours? What causes this? How does this relate to entropy and spontaneity and surface tension? My question is primarily for liquids other than water.

Does this hold for all liquids, including water? If not, how does water differ from this behaviour?



nashley said...

Thank you for blogging this diet. I have been diagnosed with Behcet's disease, and I am looking forward to doing the diet as closely as possible to see if it will put my symptoms into remission. The components of this diet seem VERY closely related to the problems I have, and I am praying it will make a huge difference in my life. THANK YOU AGAIN DR. AYERS

Anek Dodl said...

Don't know if you've seen this EXCELLENT video: Dr. Listig explaining insulin, leptin and obesity:

Anonymous said...

I just completed the first two weeks of the 6 week cure. It was not terrible, but not a cake walk either. I suffered a great deal of fatigue and kind of a weird feeling in my gut. No headaches, but just no energy at all, and I didn't feel well generally. I did lose some belly fat (didn't have a ton, but enough to bother me) and feel leaner, but a lot of old "-itis" problems have flared up now, towards the end of the two shake weeks. I'm having a lot more joint pain, and an old tendonitis I had previously in my foot is back. I did forget my fish oil many days (though I wasn't too faithful before that either), and I ran out of vitamin D halfway through, but did absorb a great deal of sunlight to compensate.

So I'm curious why I actually feel more inflamed. It is puzzling. Maybe it was too much dairy for me. I am on the meat weeks now, so no dairy at all, and I am back on my fish oil (probably take some cod liver oil for D), so I hope this all calms down before my varicose vein surgery at the end of next week.

Sarah said...

I was the one who just posted about my experiences with the first two weeks of "The 6 Week Cure". I forgot to mention that, while I didn't feel great, and some old inflammation has been unearthed somehow, my skin was absolutely radiant (better than EVER). I normally suffer a few breakouts here and there, and in my younger years had terrible cystic acne, but I had absolutely NO blemishes at all. I am definitely skinnier around the middle and have lost about 3 pounds (not much, but it is me anyway).

Could the increase in inflammation be some sort of "healing reaction?" originating in a change in my gut flora or is the whole "herx, healing reaction" thing a myth?

Unknown said...

Not sure if anyone is still monitoring this particular Blog.
I recently bought a copy of 'Lose you Middle Age Middle in 6 weeks' and set out to follow this plan as it seems to make so much sense. On week 1 I lost almost 9lbs, week 2 only 2 lbs, week 3 Nada, week 4 gained 1lb.
I noticed that although I didn't get the usual afternoon Brick Wall Tiredness, I did feel quite lethargic (to be expected I guess), however, my main concern is that I am now 1/2 way through week 4, and although my weight has dropped, by Stomach still looks like I swallowed a beach ball!! I have followed this very strictly and have stayed away from any refined Carbs (the only carbs are the Vegies allowed). No coffee, No Costa (my favourite coffee shop who are no doubt sorely missing me and may go broke ;-) )
This does not seem to have done anything to remove that Distended Stomach look.
Am I missing something or just too impatient to think that something that has been building for almost 50 years will go in 4 weeks??

Anonymous said...

Hello Terry,

You might want to get hold of a copy of "Deep Nutrition" by Catherine Shanahan. She describes the fat your talking about as ormental fat...that is fat not between the muscle fascia and your skin but surrounding the inner organs. She recommends a diet protocol similar to Dr Ayers. Its a good read if you're interested in nutrition and how to go about improving health and weight.

Unknown said...

Thanks, I have bought the book and looking forward to reading :-)

Unknown said...

I would just like to say "Thankyou so much for recommending the book Deep Nutrition". Absolutely brilliant and should be required reading for everyone!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Terry,

yes, it's quite an interesting book...although actually changing ones diet is always much harder than reading about it! I believe she has a new book coming out shortly where she details how to best implement her dietary recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ayers, I have been reading your blog for over a year now and had truly great help from this. One question that I cant find the answer too thought.
1. The use of whey to control bacterial pathogens etc. and disrupting biofilms slightly to be able to shift gut flora to a healthier one in combination with a low carb veggie and meat diet - is this appropriate to use only for a limited amount of time as the Eades cure advice or can one keep using whey safely? I initially got the impression that whey would have anti microbial properties and this is not desired for longer periods.
2. Can the whey protein powder be heated without loosing its "anti-microbial" properties? (I use it in some recipes where heating is involved. Raw egg white is also anti microbial right? And this loose its properties when cooked..
Would much appreciate your thoughts on this.
Best regards,

Dr. Art Ayers said...

My view is that once you have a fully functional gut flora that is matched to your healthy diet, you need no supplements, such as vitamins, probiotics, etc. Destabilizing your gut flora with whey powder would then make no sense, unless you were trying to change your weight.
In most cases, I don't think that one should worry about bad bacteria. The focus should be on introducing good bacteria and feeding them soluble fiber.

Antimicrobial is generally unhealthy. Both raw milk and raw eggs (as well as plants) contain powerful antimicrobial proteins (polyphenols) etc., but your gut flora will adjust to them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ayers, thank you for your response!

I did the Eades 6 week cure last year. My objective was to get rid of skin rash on my chin (perioral dermititis - related to rosacea).
I have been low carb for 6 years and the rash has improved but would still be present. It gets aggravated by inflammation and I thought it could be caused by a combination with a unbalanced gut flora and also possibly "bad bacteria" (endo toxins/die off?).

While I was eating the Whey it just kept getting worse and then 7 days after I stopped the whey it completely disappeared. I don't believe this to be a coincidence as I had had it for over a year at that point. I continued with following my regular low carb high fat diet and noticed also my head aches and restless legs had disappeared with the rash. I have previously tried super strict low carb (10g carb per day) and this would only aggravate the rash (while 30g carb/tomato, mushrooms etc would calm it but never rid it completely).
Two months ago during a trip to italy, I had pasta and cakes in abundance for 5 days.. but nothing happened except for that I could not go running for 30 days due to join pains. Then 1 month ago I had lots of ice cream one night and the rash returned together with my headaches. I'm thinking my italy trip fed the wrong population..?? Now the rash is growing worse and I started on whey yesterday.
I can't shake the idea that the rash is partly from some "bad bugs"... Do you think it is unlikely? Would the Whey be worth a try? - I'll let you know how it works out.

Can one heat whey/lactoferrin without it loosing its properties? -I use it in my coconut egg porridge - love it.

(Background: Growing up I lived on milk and bread and then ate loads with antibiotics/tetracyclines for 10 years for perioral dermatitis with massive gut problems and yeast infections as a result. The LCHF diet has really helped, now I am no longer bloated and stomach pains, I don't get sick almost ever but have constipation. I eat a lot of soluble fiber, abundance of vitamin C, D, omega3, no carbs except for green veggies onions, organic fresh herbs, fermented veggies and I'm slowly improving).

Thank you for sharing your great work.
Best regards,

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ayers,
Sorry, never mind. lactoferrin is a protein I see, so of course it will be deactivated at some temperature. i'll just stick to shakes and other cold treats.

I will try the whey again as it had such good results last time, and will let you know how it goes.

I completely agree that anti microbial substances should be avoided normally. But given that the antibiotics/tetracyclines I took for 10 years would get rid of the rash every time and that the whey did the same thing possibly, I'm thinking: Whey once more to hopefully decrease some of the m.o. responsible, then focus on growing a diverse and heathy gut flora that will hopefully grow to quiet the less beneficial one..

This summer I will be sure to stuff myself with fermented veggies, organic herbs, leafy salads, abundance of green vegetables (in a regular manner), lots of onions, pectin(citrus peal stevia marmalade) together with the anti-inflammatory supplements, and kiss healthy looking individuals. & never again wheat, sugar and starch (except for a little resistant starch maybe).

Best regards,

Tom Brady said...

Hi Dr.

I know Why Shakes will help you lose weight, but how do protein supplements affect inflammation - taking into account hormones, pesticide residue, and additives such as coloring and maltodextrin?

Newbie said...

Hi Dr. Ayers,
It has been 5 years since you wrote this post, but since you (and Tim Steele) are my "go-to" guys on microbiota, I'm leaving this question in 2015! Maybe your views have changed, I'd certainly want to know.
I don't want to take any of your comments out of context, so can you please weigh in on a discussion point on whey protein powder. My interpretation of your post - “Thus, human milk is good for babies, but bad for adult gut flora because most of the protein, fat and carbs are digested and no soluble fiber remains for colon gut flora.”
But, if the whey protein is present in the gut at the same time that significant fermentable fiber is also present , I am not clear at all that the presence of the whey protein would have a negative impact.

This particular discussion continued, and this point was made - Dr. Art Ayers had this to say about whey shakes:
"Whey shakes, by the way, can disrupt the gut flora ..."

But from …”Lactoferrin is prebiotic and supports the growth of probiotic gut flora.”

So, now I get to my issue...
Do you view whey protein powder as different from liquid milk, in that, if the whey protein powder is mixed with a goodly portion of MAC, does said protein powder thereby have a positive impact on the microbiota?
I add a scoop of whey protein powder to a cup of cooked oat groats (and raw oat bran) with banana/pear/blueberries - to ensure that fermentables are present with the whey - is the whey good for your microbiota in that setting?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I see milk and whey as feeding dairy probiotics (lactobacilli) and inhibiting the growth of everything else, i.e. adult gut microbiota. In the context of the Drs. Eades quick weight loss diet, I see the use of whey shakes as being different from other protein shakes. Protein shakes and whey shakes both lack prebiotic fiber to feed gut microbiota, but whey shakes also have proteins that are partially digested to produce antimicrobial peptides and other factors that disrupt adult gut flora. I think that the whey shakes work temporarily, because they destabilize the gut microbiota that are providing part of the metabolic set point that helps the body to resist weight change from excess or insufficient dietary calories.

I consider liquid milk to just have a more mild impact on gut microbiota than whey shakes. Milk products like plant products have natural antibiotics, e.g. lactoferricin or essential oils, that alter the composition of gut bacterial and fungal communities. Your gut adapts and its no big deal in most cases. It is easy to overcome lactose intolerance, for example, just by eating live yogurt.

I don't see the point of fiddling with whey powder instead of whole foods. Milk products are adapted for support of dairy (newborn) probiotics. They are not natural foods for adults, but if you enjoy them, then your gut will adapt.

Thanks for your comments/questions.

Newbie said...

Thank you for your answer Dr. Ayers.
Please allow me to impose on you again on this same topic.
Whey isolate protein powder has become a staple in my diet - mixed with my oat groats and bran. I only eat one other full meal in the day - with a good portion of protein, but on it's own, it wouldn't be enough to sustain my needs. I can't add a meat protein source to my huge oatmeal breakfast, so the powder is very convenient.
Can you supply any links to articles showing how whey protein powder modifies or adversely affects the human microbiota?
I would then be in a better position to decide about the whey protein on an ongoing basis for myself.

I thank in advance for indulging my persistent questions.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Feel free to persist and get your questions answered.

I don't often supply references, because most of my conceptualizations result from combining conclusions from dozens of research papers over many years. I also do my own protein database and computational modeling, so it is sometimes difficult to both cut to the chase and provide actionable bottom lines as well as documenting my research path. In most cases, all I can end up doing is providing my logic. If my reasoning is persuasive, then people can try to figure out how it will work for them.

Just to get to some main points. I consider supplements to be temporary and would normally use eggs or meat with their fat, instead of whey protein for everyday eating. If I were eating whey for its gut flora destabilization, I wouldn't sweat the small stuff, e.g. artificial sweeteners or colors, since they are insignificant on a temporary basis. Most of the particulars of diet are unimportant as long as one is eating whole foods that supply enough protein, fat and minerals, plus prebiotic fiber for gut bacteria. That said, most people have health problems because their gut bacteria are not adapted to their diet, and not because their is a problem with their diet. Modern cultures lack functional ways to introduce a wide range of bacterial species to supplement damaged gut microbiota. The best they can do is provide dairy probiotics and fermentation bacteria that can act as surrogates to aid immune system development. But those lactobacilli tend to be transients in the gut. Autoimmune disease,allergies, constipation, food intolerances, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, all indicate that dozens of bacteria species are missing and can't be replaced by commercial probiotics with just a couple of useful species.

Anni said...

Dear Dr. Ayers,

I would like to inquire once more on the topic of Whey Protein Powders, if you could find the time for a few lines.

Since I gathered from your blog that you also regularly strength train or used to strength train and given your background you are of course quite aware of the role protein plays for strength development and hypertrophy (the latter not being the priority here at all, but still welcome to some degree).

Since in the real world we often have to compromise, what would be the better option (in your opinion) to maximize athletic performance (in the long run, where a somewhat compromised immune system might impede training progress e.g. due to impaired recovery):

a) No Protein Supplements, only whole foods chosen to maximize health of the gut flora, but potentially leading to less than optimal protein intake due to time/money restraints

b) Daily intake of Whey Protein (Isolate) in order to meet increased protein demands, that would to some degree impair the diversity/health of the gut flora – even though it adapts to a point where no gastro-intestinal issues can be noted?

Question comes from a healthy individual with no auto-immune problems and good tolerance to WPI judging from skin/stool/digestion.

Thank you for your help,

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